March 14 is Pi Day because the date (3/14) contains the first three digits of the number pi, or , the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.

But if we’re being honest, most people don’t get excited about Pi Day because they loooove geometry—they celebrate the holiday because it is a great excuse to eat pie. It’s also a great excuse to enjoy these historic photos of people making, serving, or eating pie.

1. Supporting the Troops

Photograph by Col. E.J. Parker

Photograph by Col. E.J. Parker

A Salvation Army workers makes donuts and pies for World War I troops in France in a photo from a 1920 issue of National Geographic.

2. Cooking Under Pressure


The Salvation Army makes pies on the European frontlines of World War I in a photo from 1918 of National Geographic.

3. Rhubarb Delight

Photograph by Herbert G. Ponting

Photograph by Herbert G. Ponting

A cook makes pies in Antartica around 1912.

4. Dinner Time

Photograph by Carolyn Drake

Photograph by Carolyn Drake

Muslim Uyghurs make mutton pies at a restaurant in Layka, Xinjiang, China, in 2008.

5. Savory Treats

Photograph by B. Anthony Stewart

Photograph by B. Anthony Stewart

A woman serves lumbermen pie near Eureka, California, around 1938.

6. Pennsylvania Pie

Photograph by Howell Walker

Photograph by Howell Walker

A Pennsylvania Dutch woman picks out apples for a pie in a cellar near Millersville. The photo appeared in a 1941 issue of National Geographic.

7. Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me


Photograph by William Albert Allard

An Amish woman prepares cakes, mince pies, and shoo-fly pies in her kitchen in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The photo appeared in a 1965 issue of National Geographic.

8. Fresh From the Oven


Photograph by Volkmar K. Wentzel

A woman and her niece bake cherry pies in Washington island, Wisconsin. The photo appeared in a 1959 issue of National Geographic.

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9. Apples to Apples


Photograph by James A. Sugar

A farming family makes apple pies to store in the freezer in Prairie Township, Iowa. The photo appeared in a 1974 issue of National Geographic.


This feature originally appeared in National Geographic.


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